Wednesday 29 November 2006 at 12:36 am
this saturday new york. please help spread the word!
andy is a magician with that guitar
+ i just realized how easy it is to incorporate youtube into mudd
bogs: you just drop it in. ive been looking around there. the
lake is deep, the night is long.
so an appropriate piece to begin with is, of course and
apparently, a Nass El Ghiwane - Bollywood remix joining footage of Indian dancers on a moving train (Lars Von Trier thief!)
to a classic NeG tune whose beautifully poetic title translates as
"Where are you taking me, brother?".
Wednesday 22 November 2006 at 12:13 pm
area rave fragment, mixed by M-Dee. 1994. 13 min.
Somebody gave me
this tape at a party where Benny Blanco was DJing, Benny who was
always a nice person to buy records from. The cassette advertised a
Primary rave. Mixtape as impressionistic scene souvenir.
Monday 20 November 2006 at 10:19 am
heavy & clever spam attacks have forced me to
turn on 'comment moderation'. i'm finishing up a site redesign,
switching to WordPress from
Pivot. if there's any
functionality you wanna see, drop a line. the new MuddUp! might
go live before:
Decentered in Barcelona, Brussels, and
London, CityMine(d) is a group of forward-thinking urbanists
"focusing on issues of citizenship, democracy and urban
regeneration." Who also know how to get down in style!
I haven't 'celebrated Thanksgiving in
seven years, and this Thurs will be no exception. But Hans
promises "exotic catering"!
Radian, etc. In the afternoon, Spanish sound artist Francisco
López will speak on his work, then i'll give a critical
reaction. ("I BOUGHT YOUR CD AND IT WAS BORING! THE ONE WITH THE
METAL RIFF! TELL ME ABOUT BIG RAINFOREST BUGS! LET ME
BLINDFOLD YOU AND PLAY MY MUSIC REAL LOUD, FRANCO!")
Thursday 16 November 2006 at 10:32 am
ups Skream + Warrior Queen.
this large large tune is # 1 one
worldwide hit in an alternate universe where Emperor Haile Selassie successfully beat off the invading Italian fascists in their
immaculately tailored suits, then followed them home to conquer
Italy, buy designer shoes, learn the use of pomade and the pleasures
of Western women, eventually believing in his own divinity and
annexing all of continental Europe to Ethiopia, where Skream now
competes against Mavado and Nelly Furtado in the annual Eurovision
contest, the capital of Imperial Europe having long since been
relocated Dire Dawa, "place of remedy" in Amharic, the
empire's official -- but unenforced -- language. Ras Tafari values
Warrior Queen, in the meantime, just
wants to chat about sex.
Tuesday 14 November 2006 at 05:42 am
How is it that the notion of a CD containing "The Best Music of 2006" would be preposterous while the idea of book collecting "The Best Music Writing of 2006" is readily accepted?
Is it due to qualitative differences between music and writing? Does authority swoop down in the gap separating (source) art and (secondary) reportage? Is writing about music easier to rate than music itself? What rhetorical techniques does music journalism employ to gain understanding -- or at least the appearance of semiotic control -- over sound?
For example: imagine if dance, rather than writing, was considered the main mode of music criticism! Rhythm, response, realtime -- bodies on the line, first-person present, no third-person with its anonymous voice of authority. And it's true, watching a good dancer can help you understand the music, how it operates and inhabits us.
Back to the best. When do we use 'the best' as a primary category of anything cultural?
-What type of music do you listen to?
- The best.
- "The Best"?!
Best Music of 2006, the album. Such as CD, mass-marketed as the Best Music of 2006, is more or less unthinkable. Such a book exists. (I know because I'm in it-- included as a commentor on Wayne Marshall's piece).
You wouldn't buy a "Best Music 2006" CD for at least 2 reasons. First: because you probably wouldn't like most of the music on it. Music fans divide up the world of sound by genre, geography, scene, sound, and so on -- only after everything else has been whittled down do 'best' considerations i.e. 'this band is better than that band' enter into it. 'Best' is -- at best! -- a secondary category of music appreciation.
The second reason you wouldn't buy such as CD is slightly more subtle -- the lack of discernment that it implies. People who claim they like "good music" usually don't, oddly enough.This is why I silently groan whenever a stranger finds out that I DJ and then say "you're a DJ, that's so great! I LOVE music!"
And yet you might buy that book. The reasons cited above for not buying such a CD don't translate. What is different? An anthology of 'Best Music Writing' makes sense, somehow. How?
What is the nature of this transformation from art to art criticism? The body of journalism feeds off music but births something else entirely. What happens in the guts?
Music criticism is a machine (taxonomical, hierarchical, expository) that transmutes music and musical culture into words, narratives.
I'm not trying to criticize the inclusion/exclusion aspect of creating any anthology. I'm just wondering how this machine functions. And besides, Jeff Chang already did that in his essay on the Da Capo series:
"Half the essays were about rock. Only 2 were about hip-hop. None of the writers were of color... Da Capo's Best Music Writing series demonstrates the old problem that activists of color, feminists, and gay and lesbian activists raged against during the 1980s. A very particular kind of worldview – in this case, one that favors white, male, English-only, New York-approved, rock-centric writers and writing – is passed off as the universal standard of excellence... Canons are never accidents. They get made."
Return of the White Noise Supremacists - Jeff Chang
His argument, however instructive, is a bit misguided. If you debate inclusion/exclusion from a critical canon, then you are not debating the idea of a canon itself: you are reifying it, acknowledging it as a site from which Big Meaning flows, underscoring the significance of its power to exclude you in the first place. It's easy to walk through walls if they don't exist -- and as it turns out, they often don't. I feel all minority criticism should start from there.
That said, I sympathize with Chang's piece (particularly enjoy his breakdown on how the guest editor thing works). But rather than see SPIN do cover stories on Imazighen pop written by Najat Aatabou, I'd prefer music journalism which investigates the standard U.S. pop-heroes but f%cks with the organizational logic underpinning cultural assumptions. Imagine: an essay on 'world music' profiling the few artists with truly global reach: 50 Cent, Shakira, The Rolling Stones. Ethnographic sheen optional!
Or, better yet, imagine a piece on Joanna Newson, Devendra Banhart, and west coast freaky folk in relation to the demographic shifts which have made white people the ethnic minority in California State. How long can 'white' music remain untouched by the forces which (rightfully?) require every serious reggaeton article to employ demographic data and musings on ethnic identity? Just as examining reggaeton's popularity without linking it to the Latino population boom would be considered sloppy journalism, so too is discussing freaky folk's rising fame while allowing its relation to whiteness (real and imagined) to pass in silence, as the unreferenced norm.
You could even do it as a visual essay!
Banhart at home in his Williamsburg apartment
Everywhere music fans gather you'll find music criticism. It may not be formal, buyable, or 'the best' -- but it'll be there. Perhaps in the form of good dancers.
Monday 13 November 2006 at 4:13 pm
(I'll giveway some tix to various shows later on)
DJ Rupture + Andy Moor: **live duo** (description below)
Dec 2 - N.Y.C. - Tonic. $5 midnite show on Saturday, U.S. debut, hot damm!
Dec 6 - Chicago - Hideout.
The Ex + DJ Rupture: US tour
Dec 7 - Minneapolis - Triple Rock Social Club. w/ The Stnnng, The Agenda
Dec 8 - Chicago - Empty Bottle.
Dec 9 - Pittsburgh - Garfield Artworks. w/ Allies, Xanopticon
Dec 11 - Baltimore - Ottobar. w/ Aloha, Lowmoda *
Dec 12 - Cambridge - MiddleEast downstars. w/ Aloha *
Dec 13 - NYC - Knitting Factory. w/ Aloha *
Dec 14 - Philadelphia - First Unitarian Church. w/ Aloha *
Dec 15 - Hoboken - Maxwells. w/ Arbouretum
* due to time constraints, on these shows Rupture will perform a 30-minute set. Longer sets everywhere else.
THE EX - if you don't know, you should! they've toured with everybody from Fugazi and Shellac to Konono & classic Ethiopian musicians. Heck, they've even done a D.I.Y. tour of east Africa -- no joke!! The drummer from Godspeed described em to me as: "“this awesome dutch ex squatter punk free jazz european folk band moving more and more in a bizarre african direction” check Touch&Go's nice bio.
DJ RUT-PURE. Nonstop ruts! Spanning spaces that make your rump go bump. America's most agile & reckless turntable chump. Feckless or fearless? We're stumped!
+ Andy, somewhere outside Addis Abba
For the past 2 years, turntablist DJ /rupture and guitarist Andy Moor have been playing completely improved duo sets, with a collaborative album slated for 2007 release.
Their dynamic interactions range from moments of delicate avant-garde soundwork to futuristic beats intersected by angular guitar.
ANDY MOOR, from England, is a member of legendary band The Ex (Touch & Go). From their anarcho-punk birth in 1979 (!) they've tirelessly explored a melting-pot of styles: noise, rock, jazz, improv, and African and European folk. He's also a founding member of the bands Dog Faced Hermans and Kletka Red. Moor has played electric guitar over the last 15 years with improvisers such as Kaffe Matthews, Han Bennink, John Butcher, Tony Buck, Yannis Kryiakides, and many others. His discordant, highly rhythmic baritone guitar playing is elemental and muscular, electrifying and unique.
The last time RUPTURE played upstairs at Tonic he was DJing in a band with Norah Jones. Since then he's gone expat, released records on Tigerbeat6 and Soul Jazz, toured the world a few times, and performed alongside the 80-member Barcelona Symphony Orchestra. When playing with Andy, Rupture moves between polyrhythmic beat-science and unorthodox textural DJing that pushes the use of turntable as instrument. Expect flipped hiphop battle techniques and his usual disregard for convention.
& IT SOUNDS LIKE THIS
or at least it did, for 4 minutes, a few months ago, in the Netherlands.
DJ Rupture + Andy Moor, Live @ OT301, Amsterdam
(yeah i'm using a Skream record. mad bonus points to anybody who can ID the other ones)
Thursday 09 November 2006 at 5:55 pm
So -- this December I'll be touring the U.S. with The Ex!
we're gonna hit the following cities: Minneapolis, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Cambridge, NYC, Baltimore, & Hoboken. Bang!
Touch & Go has a nice succinct write-up of The Ex for newcomers.
in addition to these shows, i'll be doing a guitars+turntable duo set with their guitarist, Andy Moor, on Dec 2nd in NYC at Tonic and Dec 6 in Chicago at the Hideout.
gotta run, dates, venues & watermelon bullets soon come.
Tuesday 07 November 2006 at 4:43 pm
i heart the way YouTube is super web 2.5 (hegemony of the rabbit's hamburger hats), distortion and abysmal video quality getting 100 million daily views, the shrinking screen discarding fidelity, 100 million people watching the equivalent of listening to scratchy old 78rpm records as Google quietly goes Eshu/Papa Legba on us and our data, the spirits and the worlds, always somewhat troubling when a corporation owns the crossroads and logs your crossings. It is a kind of sacrilege; the paranoid are the faithful, recognizing it as such. Visibility remains : a trap.
I strongly dislike protest music. ("A tiger does not proclaim his tigritude, he pounces") But I love DJ C! (Love conquers most, then the cowboys f&ck everything up.
- in a few days, this blog will
be look less messy.
>>To cut across boundaries and borderlines is to live aloud the malaise of categories and labels; it is to resist simplistic attempts at classifying, to resist the comfort of belonging to a classification, and of producing classifiable works.
Interdisciplinary is, for example, not just a question of putting several fields together, so that individuals can share their specialized knowledge and converse with one another with their expertise. It is to create in sharing a field that belongs to one one, not even to those who create it.
What is at stake, therefore, in this inter-creation is the very notion of specialization and of expertise, of discipline and professionalism. To identify oneself with a position of specialized knowledge, to see oneself as an expert or as an authority on certain matters, even and especially on artistic matters is to give up all attempts at understanding relations in the game of power. To survive, to live with heterogeneity, artists are necessarily polyvalent in their skills, their function, their role -- so polyvalent, I would say, as to make the very label of 'artist' appear simplistic and reductive.<<
-When The Moon Waxes Red
(italics in original, boldface me)
Thursday 02 November 2006 at 2:38 pm
The thinker is communicating, and indeed communicating in a quite precise and special way:
(2) to someone in particular;
(3) to impart a particular message;
(4) according to a socially established code;
(5) without cognizance of the rest of the company.
As Ryle points out, the thinker has not done two things, written her thoughts down and winked, while the tweaker has done only one, contracted a criminal defense lawyer. Writing your thoughts down on purpose when there exists a public code in which so doing counts as a conspiratorial signal is thinking. Contracting a criminal defense lawyer on purpose when there exists an unspoken code in which so doing counts as an admittance of guilt is tweaking. That's all there is to it: a speck of accountability, a fleck of culture and -- voila -- a sunset.
That, however, is just the beginning.
The original thinker might, for example, actually have been fake-thinking, say, having read the magazines and succumbed to the idea that their way of thinking was in fact her own. What do you need to mislead others into imagining there is a conspiracy afoot where in fact there is not?
Here, too, a socially established code exists (he will "think" laboriously, overobviously, perhaps adding a grimace -- the usual artifices of the clown); and so does a message. Only now it is not conspiracy but ridicule that is in the air. If the others think he is actually thinking, his whole project misfires completely, though with somewhat different results, as if they think he is tweaking: "One can go further".
Uncertain of his mimicking abilities, the would-be thinker may practice at home before the mirror, in which case he is not thinking, tweaking, or partying, but rehearsing; though so far as what a security camera, a behaviorist, or a believer in protocol would record he is just rapidly subcontracting his dirty laundry like all the others. The Chinese only charge 59 cents a pound. Complexes are possible, if not practically without end, at least logically so.
But the point is that between . . . lies the object of my affections: a stratified hierarchy of meaningful structures in terms of which tweakers, thinkers, fake-thinkers, parents, takers, tinkerers, and products without which, as a cultural category, coolness would not exist, no matter what anyone did or didn't do with his eyelashes.
Like so many of the little pages Congressmen like to make-up for themselves, all these winking, fake-winking, burlesque-fake-winking, rehearsed-burlesque-fake-winking twinks may seem a bit artificial. In way of adding a more empirical note, let me give, deliberately unpreceded by any prior explanatory comment at all sans this one, a not untypical excerpt from my own diary to demonstrate that, however evened-off for didactic purposes, TV and even blogs present an image only too exact of the sort of bought-up structures of inference and intimidation through which a young person is continually trying to pick her way:
...The French informant had only just arrived. They set up twenty or so twinks between here, the foyer, and the bedroom area upstairs, placing them on furniture like collapsed partygoers. But for all this they couldn't guarantee safety, especially at night, when each one dreamt, in bed, alone, for although their dreams were medically abolished the nightmares continued as before.
Right down at the factual base, the hard rock, insofar as there is any, of this whole structure, we are already explicating: and worse, explicating explications. Winks upon winks upon winks. Meaning splinters between the thinkers and the takers. What tripped Bo up, and with him the whole, ancient pitter-patter of social and economic relationships within which he functioned, was a confusion of tongues.
So she opened the door and, lazing about as if injustice was unavoidable, managed to escape through a window. Thinking she cannot possibly convey to you how indescribably beautiful the sunset is when in fact she already has.
Wednesday 01 November 2006 at 12:55 pm
- what is your escape root?
- see you in Toronto this Friday! DJ Rupture, Knifehandchop, & co. at a party called MathHooker. Five bucks, much fun, no excuses.
- the internet connection here works again, finally, at least for now. So before it goes away, let's have some clickety-clackety type ambience from Test Department, a band whose wikipedia entry should be longer. Forgetfulness outflanks memory. This particular tune is like an underheated British socialist version of those Ghanaian postal workers canceling stamps.
Test Dept - Firedance
from their 1989 Materia Prima album